The intention, Denver officials said, was benevolent.
The Denver Sheriff’s Department set out to hire scores of deputies last year to lessen the burden on its staff and cut millions in overtime.
It advertised for prospects, and included U.S. citizenship as a requirement.
By this past spring, it had hired 200 deputies.
The Justice Department did not congratulate the agency – instead, it slapped Colorado’s largest sheriff’s department with a $10,000 fine and a host of steps it must take to address what was described as discriminatory hiring.
In a summary of the settlement on its website, the Justice Department said that in insisting on citizenship, the Denver Sheriff’s Department violated an anti-discrimination provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that forbids employers from hiring only U.S. citizens except in cases where it is mandated “by law, regulation, executive order or government contract.”